June 29th, 2012 – by Emily Benner
“Estamos aquí, seguimos luchando.” “We are here, we are still fighting.” I often received this response from clients at my internship after I asked them “How are you?” Life for undocumented Latino immigrant is not easy. I learned this through the experiences of the people I met at my internship at CASA de Maryland. I remember one particular woman, who came to me for help with her W-7 form as part of Individual Tax Identification Number application, who said “People think we come here to steal, but all we want is to have a good life.” A good life. U.S. society and systems does virtually nothing to help this population have a good life. Generally speaking, this group of peoples faces challenges daily that span from a lack of education, poor housing conditions, no health care, wage theft, poverty and more. Yet throughout my time here, I was continually amazed at the resiliency of the undocumented population. They find hope in community and they support each other. They accept small act of kindness and respond with large expressions of thankfulness. Laughter and humor is cherished. Every day is a fight for life, for work, for rights and for freedom from discrimination.